Category Archives: Resources

Eggs and Cholesterol: What to believe and how we got here

eggs

In January I was invited to serve on the Health Advisors (HPA) Panel for the Egg Nutrition Center. ENC is the research arm of the American Egg Board. The aim of the ENC is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information for health professionals. The HPA Panel is composed of registered dietitians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and personal trainers. I’m so excited to be on this panel for the year and have already learned so much.

Eggs have always been one of my favorite foods and one that I would define as one of nature’s most perfect foods.

For years, I have educated clients on the science that eating foods with cholesterol does not raise our blood cholesterol levels. Just recently with the new Advisory Report to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, it seems like this nutrition education message is finally being caught up with the science we’ve known to be true.

So what does this mean for you, the consumer? One of the biggest pieces of nutrition science to reach the American consumer about cholesterol this year with this report, is that limiting dietary cholesterol to no more than 300 mg a day hasn’t been able to show an appreciable relationship to serum cholesterol  – or our total blood cholesterol levels.

What consumers are hearing now is that cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for over-consumption.

Why are eggs a great food? I always use extra-large eggs which contain 7 grams of protein per 80 kcals. As 40% of the US population does not meet the amount of protein foods recommended, eggs can help you get to this amount. Eggs do have saturated fat which you may have heard at this point is what we don’t want to eat a lot of in our diets. However, eggs have only 1.5 grams of saturated fat per egg. This is hardly enough to contribute in a negative context.

Eggs contain vitamin D. Most people above latitude 42 have depreciated levels of vitamin D.

While supplementing with vitamin D is necessary for a lot of people if they have a lower levels, eggs are a great food to keep this level up or get it back to normal levels.

We’ve been reading a lot on the topic of sustainability in regard to our food.  Eggs use considerable less land, irrigation and water, and produce less emissions as a food source compared to other protein source.

An egg a day is not too much! I eat at least 7 eggs a week as part of a way to get in protein and I just love the taste. Any which way you cook them – scrambled, hard- boiled, or in other foods. I especially enjoy eggs as part of salads or in a sandwich at lunch.

Eggs last, are inexpensive and are truly one of the most versatile natural foods we have access to in our daily diet.

If you celebrated Easter or Passover this month likely you saw many eggs. As eggs are considered ‘Parve’ in Jewish culture, they fit in most celebratory and sacred meals and have great meaning as a food in history.

I will leave you with this cute video on eggs titled Wake Up To Eggs With Bacon‘  (Remember all foods can fit and therefore bacon sometimes is just fine – and tasty!)

Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle

logo-national-nutrition-monthMarch is National Nutrition Month and the theme Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle comes at a time of year when our New Year’s resolutions or intentions may have begun to wane.

This year’s theme suggests consumers create individual and family exercise and eating plans focused on a few points. Coming off last month’s newsletter on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report some of the advice may seem similar.

Suggestions center on trying to consume fewer calories, choosing foods that are healthful and making sure to maintain a healthy weight by getting in daily exercise. The reasoning behind the theme this year is not just in the moment. All of these suggestions can help decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and many other chronic diseases.

By now, you have read many times over my suggestion of filling half of your plate at each meal with fruits or vegetables or getting in 5 servings of these a day the size of your fist. How can you do this utilizing fresh, local & organic food that doesn’t break the bank?

One way is to invest in a CSA or Consumer Supported Agriculture farm. Late winter and early spring are the annual time to sign up for a CSA in preparation for summer and early fall making this step fit in line perfectly with National Nutrition Month.

I just signed our family up for a CSA from June-October with First Root Farm. I opted for the small CSA even though we have a large family. Most of the time I recommend sharing a full CSA with another family or with a group of friends if you’re single or a couple. At times the amount of produce can be substantial even picking up the order on a weekly basis. Most CSA’s have at least 2 drop off locations making it easier to obtain if you live in a city. If you live in Massachusetts, here is a list of all the CSA’s.

Other states have similar local guides and this website lists many CSA farms searchable by zip code all over the United States.

With the exercise piece of National Nutrition Month, personally, I am trying something new. My local yoga studio is offering a discounted pass for the month of March in an attempt to encourage students to practice yoga for 31 days. Getting in regular exercise is usually not a challenge for me, but changes in lifestyle going from 1 child to 4, and living out of the city now in the suburbs, I needed to change things around.

I am also in my 40’s now and running multiple races and ½ marathons a year is not something my body is craving as much as it did in my 30’s. I am on day 12 of 31 days of yoga & have been committed each day. I am not at a class every day, but in between days when I am able to get to a class, I practice in the morning or at night before bed. Changing exercise routines through different phases of life to accommodate everything else can help keep the commitment of physical activity lifelong.

Between daily yoga (in combination with other aerobic exercise), increasing my fluid, watching portions and getting in my fruits and veggies every day I have never felt more energized.

In the midst of a very long winter here in the northeast of the United States and in the middle of National Nutrition Month these commitments could not come at a better time. I have also taken advantage of some new DNA testing specific to nutrition. Below are my own results to share how this might work for you.